Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that impacts the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain is responsible for executive functions, emotional regulation, and impulse control. ADHD includes symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. Most children with ADHD grow up to be adults with ADHD since, though symptoms change with age, they seldom vanish altogether. Often, adult ADHD leads to relationship problems, poor work performance and self-esteem, as well as other issues. In fact, it’s estimated about half of adults with ADHD have a comorbid condition, such as anxiety disorder.
While adult ADHD looks different than the condition in children, clinicians’ diagnostic criteria — as per the DSM-5 — does not differentiate between the two. Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of ADHD may help inform you whether to visit a mental health care professional for an evaluation.
What Are the Symptoms of Adult ADHD?
Some people with ADHD may experience fewer symptoms as they get older, although some adults continue to have prominent symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. The primary drawbacks of ADHD in adults are difficulty paying attention and impulsiveness. Many are not even aware they have ADHD; all they know is that everyday tasks can prove challenging. The lack of impulse control can range from mild to severe; from impatience in traffic to mood swings and angry outbursts.
Symptoms of Inattention or Forgetfulness
Careless mistakes and poor attention to detail: Performing inaccurate work or missing details. Moreover, this can take the form of forgetting daily activities such as running errands, returning calls, or paying bills.
Poor organization and time management skills: Failure to meet deadlines, messy living or workspace, or consistently tardy.
Disinclined to participate in tasks that demand sustained mental effort: Avoids or simply dislikes preparing reports, filling out forms, or reviewing lengthy documents
Symptoms of Hyperactivity
Talks excessively: This can involve interrupting others or blurting answers before questions have been completely asked.
Physically restless: Running or climbing where inappropriate, or fidgeting with or tapping hands and feet. This may manifest in being uncomfortable being still for an extended period, such as in meetings or restaurants.
Has difficulty “waiting their turn”: Trouble waiting in line or using others’ things without asking permission.
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